Can I have more than four IDE devices?

Updated: 04/02/2019 by Computer Hope

Often computers have one of the below configurations, which does not allow any additional IDE devices connected to the computer.

  1. Two hard drives, a CD-ROM and a DVD/CD-RW drive.
  2. Three hard drives and one CD-ROM.
  3. One hard drive, CD-ROM drive, DVD drive, and a CD burner.

IDE / ATA channel

Most motherboards that support IDE (EIDE/ATA) have two IDE interfaces, each interface supports the maximum of two devices. Therefore, you can only have a maximum of four IDE (EIDE/ATA) devices connected to your motherboard. If you need to connect an additional IDE device to the computer, you can try one of the below solutions.

  1. If you have multiple CD or DVD drives, you may want to consolidate into one drive. For example, DVD drives can read CDs as well as DVDs. Therefore, unless a fast CD-ROM is needed, you can consider removing the extra CD-ROM.
  2. There are also DVD burners that are capable of creating DVDs and CDs as well as read CDs and DVDs. Purchasing one of these drives would allow you to have one drive instead of multiple drives.
  1. Finally, if you need to use all the IDE drives in the computer, you can also consider installing a new controller card. If you want to continue to use IDE, you would need to purchase an IDE controller card. If you have not yet purchased an IDE device, you may also want to consider a SCSI or SATA controller card.

Additional information